Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

♦ In honor of recent college graduations everywhere (and Cameron, Daniel, and Amanda’s specifically), I direct you to BookRiot’s Commencement Speech Real Talk. I wish I’d heard (or really listened to) some of this advice when I was graduating.

Also in honor of college graduations, check out xkcd’s hilarious “Every Major’s Terrible” (thanks to Adam and Aimee for posting this link on Facebook).

Also, I liked Paula Krebs’ “Next Time, Fail Better” so much I posted it in Facebook and I’m linking to it again here!

♦ If Amanda’s reading this post, I think she’ll enjoy Ron Ulicny‘s art (via):

Book Nook.

Reading is Magical (Via).

Thanks to Molly for directing me this interview with Neil Gaiman in The New York Times about his reading habits. (Spoiler: next on his reading list is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.)

Oh. My.

Library at Biltmore House, Asheville, North Carolina

Mike Allen gave Locus a great introduction to speculative poetry, with lots of links.

The book of the future!

♦ I’ve always loved Maurice Sendak’s art and his vision of what children’s books can (should) be. His death last week created many opportunities to celebrate his life. Here are some of the tributes that I liked:

io9 offers several video clips of interviews with Sendak.

The New York Times ran a lovely, thorough piece on Sendak.

Neil Gaiman posted a wonderful cartoon about Art Spiegelman’s experiences hanging out with Maurice Sendak in 1993. It’s pretty marvelous.

Many people wrote personal pieces about Sendak, including, Gaiman, William Joyce, Kate DiCamillo, and several others.

Caitlín R. Kiernan posted this video of The Dresden Dolls’ fantastic performance of “Pierre” (the lyrics are from Sendak’s book):

Here’s my favorite story from Maurice Sendak:

I often feel the same way about art and books.

♦ While we’re grim, check out Shoshana Kessock’s essay at “Death in Fantasy Fiction: Why It Makes Us Rage.”

Great interview with Mike Mignola about the upcoming Hellboy in Hell series–plus a motion comic of Hellboy: The Fury! In related fun, check out the nine circles of Hell as depicted in LEGO.

♦ Fascinating account from Ella Hudson, who “had the bizarre pleasure of witnessing firsthand the United States Air Force accidentally drop a nuclear weapon—with its fissile material fortunately removed—on the woods near her cousins’ house” (not far from where I went to college).

Writers’ Corner

Some excellent writing advice from Neil Gaiman.

More good stuff from Chuck Wendig: 25 things writers should know about creating mystery. Also, Wendig starts thinking about Thinking About Stories in Part One, “Your Brain, the Slow-Cooker.”

Jeff VanderMeer’s been thinking about how writers establish reading protocols in fiction. Interesting stuff!

Cynthia Kraack talks about the seduction of submission (it’s not what you think—or it is exactly what you think).

Catherynne M. Valente posted on about writing The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (due out in October), and in that post is a great metaphor about writers:

In some sense, writing a book is like going into the underworld. Every author is Persephone, possessed by a story, compelled to pursue it down into dark and primal spaces.

Weird research: everything you need to know about crapping at the opera before 1830.

♦ This Wondermark just pleased me on so many levels:

♦ [Ophelia’s Skull] is a part of a project that aims at re-coding Shakespeare in the 21st century’s vision. The skull represents a well-known tragic character, Ophelia in Hamlet, who is many times used as a symbol of tragic death in a variety of artworks in art history…. The project interactively delivers synesthetic images to an audience with visuals, sounds, textures, scripts and materials. Via.

♦ Here’s something pretty:

Mystery in Space cover by Ryan Sook

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2 Responses to Magpie Monday

  1. Amanda says:


    The line “The pursuit and maintenance of health insurance will govern far more of your life than art” in “Commencement Speech Real Talk” scares me & motivates me to fight to enjoy beauty amidst the mundane. Thanks for sharing that!

    Of course you know I’m a fan of the Scrabble art–especially the way the tiles form flowing water.

    Also, I ran across Art Spiegelman’s cartoon featuring Sendek earlier this week too and emailed it to Dr. Barr. I love the line “Childhood is deep and rich. It’s vital, mysterious, and profound. I remember my own childhood vividly…I knew terrible things, but I musn’t let the adults know I knew…It would scare them.”

    Great blog!

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